SURABAYA, Indonesia -- An Indonesian helicopter searching for the missing AirAsia jetliner sees two oily spots in the water, and an Australian search plane spots objects elsewhere in the Java Sea, but it is too early to know whether either is connected to the aircraft and its 162 passengers and crew. In any case, officials saw little reason to believe AirAsia Flight 8501 met anything but a grim fate after it disappeared from radar Sunday morning over the Java Sea. Wary of bad weather, one of the pilots had asked to raise the plane's altitude just before it vanished, but was not allowed because another aircraft was in the way. By Trisnadi Marjan and Margie Mason. SENT: 1,200 words, photos.
NEW YORK -- Tony Fernandes is more than just the CEO of AirAsia: He's the brash personality and cheerleader-like figure who gives the discount carrier its soul. Now, with one of his planes and 162 people onboard missing, Fernandes faces what he's calling his worst nightmare. By Airlines Writer Scott Mayerowitz. SENT: 780 words, photos.
-- INDONESIA-PLANE-DEVELOPMENTS -- Key developments after AirAsia jet goes missing en route from Indonesia to Singapore. SENT: 400 words, photos.
-- INDONESIA-PLANE-NEWS GUIDE -- With the missing AirAsia flight the 3rd Malaysia-linked air incident this year, we look at the other two disasters, as well as the latest missing flight. SENT: 600 words, photos.
-- INDONESIA-PLANE-INDONESIA'S WOES -- Missing AirAsia jet latest air woe for Indonesia, which has struggled with its safety record. SENT: 420 words, photos.
-- INDONESIA-PLANE-MISSING JETS-THEN AND NOW -- Missing jet brings back Flight 370 memories, but there are plenty of differences. SENT: 540 words, photos.
AFGHANISTAN-DISPLACED IN WINTER
KABUL, Afghanistan -- Thousands of Afghans are pouring into makeshift camps in the capital where they face a harsh winter as the Taliban return to areas once cleared by foreign forces, who this week are marking the end of their combat mission. On the grimy outskirts of Kabul, hundreds of families are huddled in flimsy tents or mud shelters at the Bagrami camp. By day the children forage for fuel and food. At night the families burn garbage to try to keep warm as the icy winds sweep down from the Hindu Kush mountains surrounding the city and temperatures plunge to below freezing. By Rahim Faiez and Lynne O'Donnell. SENT: 800 words, photos.
BEIJING -- A scaffolding collapse at one of Beijing's most prestigious high schools kills 10 construction workers and injures four others. SENT: 250 words, photos.
MANILA, Philippines -- A strong earthquake measuring magnitude 6.1 shakes parts of the southern and central Philippines, frightening people but causing no serious damage or injuries, officials say. SENT: 150 words.
SKOREA-KOREAN AIR-NUT RAGE
SEOUL, South Korea -- Four South Korean officials will be punished for improper conduct during an investigation into a former Korean Air Lines executive who forced a flight to return over a bag of macadamia nuts, the Transport Ministry says. SENT: 290 words.
BUSINESS AND FINANCE:
BEIJING -- Connections to Google Inc.'s popular email service are blocked in China amid efforts by the government to limit access to the company's services. SENT: 330 words, photos.
U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL:
ATHENS, Greece -- Helicopters defy high winds, stormy seas and darkness to pluck hundreds of passengers from a Greek ferry that caught fire off Albania, as survivors tell of a frantic rush to escape the flames and pelting rain. Five people have died and dozens remained trapped on board a day after the fire broke out. By Andrea Rose and Nicole Winfield. SENT: 910 words, photos, video.
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras -- The project Luis Perez created a year ago on a dusty soccer field in a rough neighborhood is doing well. It's been six months since any of the 50 children who train with Perez has been murdered in a country where nearly 1,000 children were killed this year. By Alberto Arce. SENT: 820 words, photos.
HONOLULU -- A warning from President Obama to congressional Republicans: I have a veto pen and, come January, I won't be afraid to use it. With Republicans set to take full control of Congress next year, Obama is losing his last bulwark against a barrage of bills he doesn't like: the Senate. By Josh Lederman. SENT: 510 words, photo.
ATHENS, Greece -- Greece is heading for early general elections after parliament failed to elect a new president in a third and final round of voting. The prospect of early elections has intensified fears over the country's financial future, causing investors to sell off the country's stocks. By Elena Becatoros. SENT: 410 words, photos.
NYC MAYOR'S FIRST YEAR
NEW YORK -- The city's first Democratic mayor in a generation completes his first year in office with a scorecard of campaign promises fulfilled, but finds himself atop a divided city roiled by violence by -- and, later, against -- police. By Jonathan Lemire. SENT: 760 words, photos.
NFL PLAYOFFS RDP
The Baltimore Ravens are back in the playoffs, while the Seattle Seahawks will be playing at home in them. The Ravens (10-6, the same record they had in their Super Bowl season), earn a wild card and will be seeded sixth in the AFC, while defending Super Bowl champion Seattle earns the top seed in the NFC. By Barry Wilner. SENT: 460 words, photos.
ALSO GETTING ATTENTION
-- PEOPLE-CHRIS ROCK-DIVORCE -- Chris Rock and wife Malaak Compton-Rock plan to divorce after 19 years of marriage. SENT: 70 words, photo.
YOUR QUERIES: The editor in charge at the AP Asia-Pacific Desk in Bangkok is David Thurber. Questions and story requests are welcome. The news desk can be reached at (66) 2632-6911 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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